Having lived in the area for 30 years, David and Gillian had seen the neighbourhood change from being full of greenery to how it looks today, with very few trees. Now happily retired, when they heard about the Trees for Streets scheme, they were keen to get involved and give something back.
Re-greening the area
David and Gillian truly have roots in their area, having moved to the street in 1968. During that time they’ve seen lots of changes.
They told us about how when they moved in, the entire street seemed to be lined with trees, which treated them to the most beautiful display of white blossom in the springtime.
Many years ago, a tree had to be removed from a spot outside David and Gillian’s house, and unfortunately it was never replaced. It was David’s wish that their green and leafy street could be restored, and so he decided to jump on board and sponsor a tree as soon as he heard about the scheme.
A personal and lasting memorial
David told us about how his mother had passed away following a stroke, and how his father passed shortly afterwards. Sponsoring a tree was a way to make a lasting memorial to their lives. Gillian also told us about how she had received a small inheritance following the passing of her own parents and wanted to do something meaningful with it. The tree is a quiet memorial that has a special significance to them, but one that the whole neighbourhood can benefit from.
We offer Celebration Tree schemes in most of the areas we are operating in – you can read more here.
Keeping it local
David and Gillian had explored different options for tree planting, including some offered by other charities, but most schemes don’t give you any say in where the tree you sponsor is located. What encouraged them go with Trees for Streets, is that the tree would be planted locally – somewhere that they could see it every day and everyone on the street could enjoy it too.
Caring for the tree
We chatted to David and Gillian about caring for the tree, as they decided to take on the responsibility of watering their tree when they sponsored it. Not everyone goes for this option, but David was enthusiastic about it. Both he and Gillian are keen gardeners and knew a lot about how to care for a growing tree. Their own garden is full of beautiful mature trees, and they’ve planted three new varieties very recently.
When I’m out watering the tree, passers-by often stop to talk to me and ask what I’m doing.
I’m more than happy to explain how they can do the same and sponsor their own tree. Carrying a heavy watering can out to the tree every day is also good exercise!
David’s chosen to water his tree a bit every day throughout the Summer, to make sure it grows strong and healthy. Other people do a big water once a week – read our watering tips for more advice.
Enjoyment of nature
When we visited the street, the sun was shining and there were lots of birds enjoying the trees in Gillian and David’s garden. Gillian laughed when she told us about a rather fat pigeon that likes to sit on the newly planted sponsored tree and eat the cherries that are already fruiting – unfortunately the branch is starting to bend because he’s getting so heavy!
All kinds of fruit and nut trees encourage wildlife, as they are not only a source of food but as they grow they provide a place for creatures to live.
Gillian added “ I’d like to plant some flowers, like pansies, around the base of the tree to help keep the weeds down, and add some extra colour. I think that would look even more lovely.”
Trees in the street
We talked about how these days there is so much awareness around the importance of trees for the environment. Trees are amazing, they:
- Improve our health and wellbeing – both physically and mentally
- Absorb air pollution
- Protect from flooding
- Encourage calm and careful driving
- Reduce littering and fly-tipping
- Make the neighbourhoods where we live that bit nicer
Join David and Gillian
If, like David and Gillian, you’d like to help fill your street with trees, then please use our online sponsorship request app, which lets you pick a location on our interactive map.